Staffing Function of Management
There are certain things that you need for your business to succeed and the first among that list in all kinds of businesses is human capital or human resources. A business cannot be isolated from its workforce. This is because of the fact that the workforce of the business is its life force. Thus it becomes imperative that a business has the right amount and right kind of people working in it.
This requirement of a business is met by a simple yet intricate function known as Staffing. It involves the process of filling up the various positions in the organisational structure with the right kind of people who are skilled and competent to discharge the duties the position carries and implies. It is a multi step process that commences with determining the number and type of people you want in the workforce (workforce planning), recruiting, selecting, training and developing, promoting, compensating, and appraising the performance of the workforce.
The managerial function of staffing is managing the organization manpower by means of suitable and active choice, assessment and progression of the employees who fill the desired roles and positions.
According to Theo Haimann, “Staffing pertains to recruitment, selection, development and compensation of subordinates.”
Features of Staffing Function
- Critical managerial function – Staffing function is the amongst the most critical managerial function along with planning, organizing, directing and controlling. The success of all these managerial functions depend on the workforce which is organized by staffing function.
- Recurring activity – Staffing function is the responsibility of all the managers working in all capacities and in all departments of the business.
- Continuous function – Starting with recruitment to training and development to managing employee expectations to important transfers and promotions, staffing continues throughout the lifecycle and is thus a continued function.
- Based on efficient management of personnel – Human resources are managed through a system of staffing functions, which should be fair, dynamic and efficient in order to sustain in the long-term.
- Hiring right people – This is done through rigorous recruitment process and selecting the most appropriate candidate for the suitable job positions. Also, promotions should be well thought through and in the direction of long-term vision of the organization.
Importance of Staffing Function
Staffing is important to a business in multiple ways and some of them are as follows :
Workforce is Life Force
As elaborated upon above the workforce of a business is its life force. Without the requisite human involvement working in a motivated fashion for the betterment and benefit of the business organisation, the business will always be far from success.
Ensures Competency and Efficiency
Staffing as a process is not just about finding a person for the job, it is about finding the right person for the job. Staffing involves identifying competent and skilled people who will be able to fit directly into the position and perform the functions it entails in an efficient and successful manner. Staffing is not about making a layman a CEO, it is about making a CEO a CEO.
Optimum Utilization of Resources
Resources are scarce in today’s world and all the resources including human resources need to be optimally utilized. Staffing as a process ensures that only the right amount of people are staffed in the business and are functioning in it. This allows for clearing a huge amount of money being wasted on unnecessary employees and also provides such employees the opportunity to fare better in other businesses or initiatives that actually need their services. Moreover an employee especially in the higher levels of management are tasked with the function of managing all resources of the business. If staffing is unable to put a competent person in that position these resources could be wastefully used costing the business and also the world a lot.
Training and Development of Employees
Staffing is also not just about finding the right person and putting him in a position, but is also about helping him through the process of training and development to adapt to the changing needs and requirements of that position. It involves the process of improving the skill of the employee to allow him to discharge the functions now and also in developing his overall ability to facilitate him to discharge more complicated functions in the future. Thus staffing involves preparing for the future as well as allowing for the achievement of business goals now.
By allowing for Training and Development staffing also creates a system of motivation. The training provided by the business helps in boosting the confidence level of the employees and is usually provided in order to teach them efficient ways of discharging their functions. When the employees understand that the business is willing to take such effort for improving their skills for now and for the future, they will be motivated in working harder for the business.
Improves Employee Satisfaction and Morale
The process of staffing also involves appraising the work done by the employees and rewarding the employees for their hard work. Such appreciation of the work so performed by the employees apart from being a important source of motivation also plays huge role in satisfying them and boosting their morale. This thereby ensures that the business does not see huge labor shortages or the employees wanting to go to another enterprise.
Steps Involved in Staffing Function of Management
Following is a brief discussion over important steps of staffing:
Manpower planning or in simple terms estimation of workforce requirement is the first step in the process of staffing. As always every step starts off with the process of planning and identifying what is required. This steps involves outlining the various positions of the organisation and determining what category of people will be suitable for it. For instance, if I am making an Engineering company, I would want someone who has prior management experience and great understanding of the discipline to be the CEO, so the qualification could be the person being a veteran or a person with dual MBA and Engineering degree.
Once the positions are determined and the qualifications outlined there arises the need to identify people meeting the conditions. This is done through a process known as recruiting. This process could be done through a multiplicity of ways like campus recruitment, On the Job recruitment etc. In my engineering company me informing and them accepting to be interviewed for the position will be recruiting.
Selection is a process that comes either prior to recruiting or not at all. Recruiting nowadays is a combination of selection and recruiting. Selection as a distinct process involves sifting through the recruits to understand who can do the job better. The steps involved could be practical tests, interviews, theory tests etc, all depending on the time, convenience and policy of a company. In my company it would be about pitching the veteran against the dual degree holder in a practical test environment probably a crisis simulation and deciding who does better.
Workforce orientation is a process by which a new employee recently selected is made familiar to a work place. Being a new employee he/she might be unaware of the company’s policies, objectives, rules etc and will require time getting familiar to. This is hastened by giving orientations to make the employee to step into his position comfortably and with complete commitment and awareness. Being a new company, my company won’t require this but when the tenure of this CEO ends and a new one is selected from outside the company then it may be necessary.
Training and Development
Picasso probably wasn’t so good at what he does when he first did it. Practice makes one better at what he does. So does training. Even the most efficient of employees sometimes need a hand or two to get better at what they do and this is the underlying concept in providing training and ensuring development. Training and Development are two different concepts. Training is more concerned with making the employee at what he does now. For instance helping an accountant to be a better accountant. However development is concerned with improving the faculties and abilities of the employee in such a manner so as to allow him to discharge more complicated functions in the future. For instance, it would be helping an branch accountant to be the regional chief accountant.
Mere employment and training of employees is not the end of staffing function it also involves the function of appraising the level of performance of each employee. In my engineering company, it would be understanding how well the CEO, I selected is running the company.
An employee will not work nothing. He needs to be compensated for the work and effort he puts into the company. The total amount and nature of compensation depends upon the nature of the work and the position of the employee. A CEO gets a salary along with other benefits such as Shares etc whereas a layoff would get only daily wages. Compensation may also include bonuses and the like depending upon the performance of the employee.
Promotion is the elevation of rank and status of an employee. It is distinct from the mere change of position of an employee and requires the two mentioned elements. Staffing is also concerned with promotions as it is to be done in context to the entire organisational structure of employees. Promotions are granted to people who show promise and are committed and even though a constituent element of the broader functioning of staffing has a huge role to play in the company’s success.